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Woolworths launches free Wi-Fi for shoppers

Woolworths launches free Wi-Fi for shoppers

Retailer Woolworths has launched free Wi-Fi in 85 stores nationally, with additional connections planned by early 2018, amid a continued shift towards online and mobile shopping platforms.

The retailer said it has experienced double-digit growth since the start of the holiday period in relation to its online sales, with over 50% of e-commerce purchases driven through mobile.

In preparation for a surge in online transactions, Woolworths noted that it has also launched its first dedicated warehouse, referred to as a “dark store” to provide the storage and delivery of online clothing, beauty and homeware products purchased.

This has also contributed to the drive in online sales, due to enhanced product availability coupled with investment in dedicated online stock support, it said.

Woolworths admitted that within a South African retail context, customer adoption of e-commerce relating to fashion and food has traditionally been limited. However, according to Stats SA, in 2015, e-commerce was valued at approximately R7.5.billion.

This according to online analyst, Arthur Goldstuck, still only represents approximately 1% of overall retail. However, the sector continues to grow rapidly, at a rate of approximately 20% annually.

Woolworths said it has seen online sales in items such as swimwear, beach accessories, table settings, beauty products, kids clothing, summer dresses and men’s shorts increase dramatically.

From a foods perspective, online sales in weekly staples such as bread, milk, meat and salads have increased exponentially, as well as holiday season items such as champagne and gifting items, it said.

For the year ended June 2016, Woolworths reported sales of R72.1 billion, and an adjusted pre-tax profit of R6.04 billion.

Stores include: Canal Walk, Cavendish, Sandton, EastGate, Gardens, Hyde Park, King Williamstown, Kwaggafontein, Lephalale, Mall of Africa, Melrose Arch, Walmer Park (PE), Waterston’s, Woodmead, Paarl, Piet Retief, Somerset Mall, V&A, Klerksdorp, Tubatsi Crossing, Soneike, Mvusuludzo Mall, N1 City, Mdantsane Mall, Langeberg Mall, Constantia, Musgrave (DBN), The Grove (PTA), Vincent Park (EL), Hemingways (EL). Also includes Country Road and Ternary stores in Sandton, Brooklyn, Gateway.

Read: Price war: Woolworths vs Spar vs Pick n Pay vs Checkers prices compared


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • RodneyVikens

    Why do you shop at Woolies? Because they have excellent over price food costing me a fortune and there is free Wi-Fi which I can use to Whatsapp Voice call my wife asking her what chicken I must buy.

  • NosySnoopy

    So have Wi-Fi in stores so people can shop online?!

    • Hiren Patel

      Exactly, confusing message. The online info is interesting, but the wifi is to get more feet in the stores.

    • Blapartheid Zulu

      Yep, so they can shop online in the store they are shopping in

  • Aristophanes

    That’s good news. Please tell them to put it in their Long Beach Noordhoek store urgently, so I can type my complaint emails to them while I wait and wait and wait for their hopelessly undermanned checkouts to perform!

    • Wari Murphy

      Hey boet. You sound seriously grumpy. You get stuck at 10 kph behind some four-wheeled Zimmer frame coming over Ou Kaaps again? Sucks.

      • Aristophanes

        No, it’s about the only way left to get the pillocks running Woolworths to actually do something about customer complaints. Could you please pass it on to them when you back to work on Monday, troll?

        • Wari Murphy

          Don’t work for them, I’m afraid, but I was having a bit of a pull on that leg. What you expressed is how I feel after a frustrating crawl over the mountain and then still having to stand in a FRIKKIN’ queue…

  • Freddie Jones

    If they could organise online ordering with in store delivery, the same as Mr Price do it would boost their business!

    Last winter I wanted one of their up-market, very expensive, sweaters that was only available in their BIG stores, but they couldn’t/wouldn’t deliver to the Shelly Beach store.

    Mr Price will deliver a cheap T-Shirt to be picked up at ANY branch.

  • Khalsa Singh

    Woolworths has launched free Wi-Fi in 85 stores nationally amid a continued
    shift towards online and mobile shopping platforms.”

    Yeah…..so shoppers will visit the store to make online purchases?
    If the goal is to entice customers, desperate to conserve airtime with free internet then just state that.

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